Still Learning from Moe

Twelve Years after his passing, I am still learning from Moe. Every time I watch his golf swing in the hours of footage I have collected, I listen to his comments and his thought on the simplicity of his swing and technique. When I practiced with Moe Norman he would say things that seemed nonsensical. There was a time when I thought some of his ideas were a bit outrageous and yes, sometimes crazy.

I learned to tame that judgmental before I know the facts. I have learned to take an objective approach to learning to swing like the best that has ever struck a golf ball. Here are a few thoughts that might help you to get your mind prepared before I get into some “radical” concepts.

First, I learned not to take anything Moe Norman said for granted, even if it did sound unconventional. Most of Moe’s ideas of the golf swing were his way of explaining the unexplainable. Moe’s descriptions were his way of doing his best to describe his feelings.

But you must be careful if you listen to literally to Moe. What Moe felt and what he actually did often looked, by all video evidence, inconsistent. Video and biomechanical analysis shows that some of the things that Moe said he did were not actually true. Or were they? I learned there is a difference between what happens when you move 3 Dimensionally (through 3D motion analysis) versus what you see on video (two dimensionally.)

Release and Extension – what you see is not what you feel

For example, Moe felt that he did not rotate the clubface during his release and extension.

He would say “The clubface stays square, I can eat off of it”, referring to the position of the club face facing upward at the finish of his swing. Clearly the club face naturally rotates back to the plane when you watch the video however, the biomechanics of this movement tells another tale.

moe-12

When looked at 3-Dimensionally the appearance of the rotation of the arm is matched by the rotating on of the torso. Therefore, when the right arm extended and the torso rotated, Moe did not feel rotation. In one perspective it did rotate (camera perspective) and on another (Moe’s perspective) it did not.

The key is not to judge Moe’s feelings until you understand them. There are many things in the golf swing that don’t make sense but once you finally learn to understand them they start to feel correct.

Like a Pendulum

Moe considered his swing like a “pendulum” but the club clearly moves in a circular path however, it feels like an up-and-down motion.

I found Moe’s insights into his feelings to be a very important tool for understanding his golf swing.

Moe’s Address Position

Most people see Moe’s address position and see some major differences in Moe’s swing. When you understand what Moe is doing at address, he is establishing a perfect “club to body” relationship. I call it spacing. Moe established the ideal distance from the ball to reduce the movement of the body to reach the most important point – Impact.

With this understanding, I began to understand his address position and discovered that some of the things I thought of as “idiosyncratic” were quite possibly “secrets” to great ball-striking and consistency.

Consistency is a characteristic of great ball-strikers and Moe was the personification of it.

I describe the Single Plane Swing in this video:

Comments

10 comments on “Still Learning from Moe”
  1. Wade Purcell says:

    Todd, I think your new direction is great. You were starting to push the swing aids a little too much.
    I’ve been a Natural Golfer for 13 years and still play P3 irons occasionally.
    I have gone back and forth between single and two plane, unsuccessful. Last winter I both knees replaced because my golf swing sucked.
    Following your improved instruction, I have my swing back and I understand WHY. I’m 77 next month and really looks forward to 2017. I feel can drop my hdcp from 18 to 12, maybe lower.
    I have a few thoughts that may help your students. Number one, when you get over the ball think; grip-position-stance. Go swing.
    More later,
    Thanks
    Wade Purcell

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    1. Todd Graves says:

      Thanks Wade. Keep up the good work.

      Todd

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    2. Todd Graves says:

      Your right Wade. We were trying to grow too fast. But we are now back focusing on our passion – Moe and the Single Plane swing. Thanks for sticking with us. Keep up the good work on your game.

      Todd

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  2. Order alignment ball position and training club and single plane solution going to do my best to learn the swing hopefully become a member

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    1. Todd Graves says:

      Delton,
      Let me know if I can help. You can find some additional instruction on the moenormangolf site under product support. Talk soon.

      Todd

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  3. Bob Bowen says:

    Todd – This new addition, new improved update is excellent!!! I’ve never brought a product from you guys that, when worked correctly (and worked at diligently) did not produce wonderful results, so I really do trust this judgement call. I love the new website/instructional/historical stuff; the piece on Bowie/MN is perfect – both so far ahead of their time. I sense that you are not wanting to fall into the rut/trap of doing too much, too fast at Grave’s Golf and this is wise move. There’s an old saying: “I can do anything I want, I just can’t do EVERYTHING I want and expect to do it well.” With your new focus on drilling down on the essence of teaching Single Axis/Moe Norman swing, this is a very good, very self aware and thoughtful coarse correction that I admire. God Bless!

    Sincerely -Bob Bowen

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    1. Todd Graves says:

      Thank you Bob. I appreciate the thoughts and feedback. Merry Christmas.

      Todd

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  4. Tim Crowley says:

    Todd, I own and have studied the videos and just bought both alignment & ball position trainers, leverage bag and the training club. I’m making slow progress, but have a heated space to train this winter with my new gear. I’m moving up the curve. I like the changes to the website and the webinars. It’s good that you and Tim took time to reflect on your approach. Merry Christmas.–Tim C

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    1. Todd Graves says:

      Thank you Tim,

      I am working on a “Deep Practice” routine for proper practice. Make sure I get it to you. Should have it in the works next week.

      Merry Christmas.

      Todd

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  5. Bruce Kelso says:

    Todd-

    You are so fortunate to have known Moe. I’ve known about Moe for 20 years and about the single plane swing for as long. But you have an excellent program and process for teaching it that I’ve adhered to for over a year now, and have dropped from a 4 to 1.5. I’ve got most of the videos and watch them over and over, usually learning something new each time I do, or trying to focus on a particular fundamental. I spend a lot of time doing the PVC drill (and now plane trainer – the grip is a big improvement) with tape marks on the floor, two mirrors; face on and down the line with lines to monitor spine tilt, and lots of position swing training. I turn 65 this May and my goal is to shoot my age. Don’t laugh, I’ll let you know when I do because the short game is coming around and I love to practice. You and Tim have helped a great deal and for that I sincerely thank you.

    Bruce Kelso, Champaign

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